from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – SEVEN million people across Southern Africa may experience further food insecurity because of a serious outbreaks of African Migratory Locust (AML).
Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are facing the outbreak.
This comes as a further blow as millions are still recovering from the impact of the 2019 drought.
AML is threatening the winter crops and the main planting season due to start in October.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned the build-up and spread of the pest could exacerbate the impacts of COVID-19 and threaten the next planting season.
FAO is working closely with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Red Locust Control Organisation for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA) to support the affected countries to respond to the locust outbreaks.
“Delaying the response would prove more costly financially, environmentally, socially and economically,” a FAO spokesperson stated.
In addition, the impacts of COVID-19 and restrictions on movement are hampering effective monitoring of the evolution of the pest populations.
According to experts, the outbreak of the pests is not related to one in East Africa earlier this year.
The outbreak in East Africa is the worst in decades.
– CAJ News